The Sarah Silverman Program: "Kangamangus"
C

The Sarah Silverman Program: "Kangamangus"

C

The Sarah Silverman Program

"Kangamangus"

Season 2, Episode 15

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Before we get started with all the shit jokes, vaginas, and censor-baiting that dresses up as The Sarah Silverman Program, every week, a theory, postulated here for the first time anywhere:
Stephen Root is good in everything, and he makes stuff that's already good better.
Okay, no one could save something like Over Her Dead Body, but I would argue Stephen Root never met a part he didn't elevate. Sure, that includes his turn as "DEA Agent (Toilet)" in Crocodile Dundee II. The man is a badass, yet he's dismissed as a "character actor" while people like Denzel Washington and Jack Nicholson–who essentially play the same dude in every film, i.e., variations of themselves–rack up Oscars. Bullshit, I say. (As you may imagine, I was psyched to talk to Root last year.)
All this Stephen Root fellating comes after his cameo in Thursday's SSP, where he played Johnny Forreals, inventor of the word boo-yah–Sarah's favorite word ever. Inspired by his approachability, Sarah decides her calling is to make up her own word–"Eat my fleecies! Jay, you're a douche-wibbler!"–thus setting in motion a chain of events that ends with an assassination attempt on Brian at a ceremony marking the induction of his word into the Oxford English Dictionary. If you watch the program, you know that all makes sense.

The Sarah Silverman ProgramThursdays 10:30p/9:30c

Word Guru

Black God
Alternative Comedy

Abortion Song
Stoner Humor


"Think of all the lives I can touch by inventing a great word!" Sarah tells Laura. Although inspiration is plentiful (Laura suggests a word to describe the vaginas of older, heavyset women), ideas are minimal ("Flappity," says Sarah). This leads to an odd musical number, where Sarah explains how everything's been done against a retro-sounding synthpop number. There's been some debate in the comments about the merits of Silverman's songs; if memory serves, most of you panned them, with a few saying they just fast-forward through them. I enjoyed the jerky strangeness of this one, though. So many of Silverman's songs stick with her and an acoustic guitar, so maybe I just liked this one because it was different.

The Sarah Silverman ProgramThursdays 10:30p/9:30c

That's Been Done

Black God
Alternative Comedy

Abortion Song
Stoner Humor


Against all odds, Sarah comes up with a word: ozay. (I have no idea how it's spelled.) As she explains to a woman on the street later, you use it to describe something "that's really kind of lame."But when she unveils to her crew, she's upstaged by Brian, who calls Steve a "dotnose" after he accidentally marks his nose with a pen. And here begins an unprecedented phenomenon: parallel A- and B-stories. Sarah struggles to establish her word in the lexicon, and Brian's word immediately finds traction. Granted, the B-story must have a Steve-mad-at-Brian hook, but this was an oddly harmonious episode, plot-wise.

The Sarah Silverman ProgramThursdays 10:30p/9:30c

Dotnose Scenario

Black God
Alternative Comedy

Abortion Song
Stoner Humor


A more sophisticated show could offer biting satire about the nature of language, but that has never been the SSP's approach. That's not necessarily a bad thing; few shows can pull that off, and even fewer can be both high-brow and low-brow (like The Simpsons). But the SSP has always focused more on general button-pushing and less about the underlying issues. South Park does that every week, so the SSP can just go for the laughs, without making people wonder why they're laughing.
And when it comes to laughs, this episode did okay. I think it was funnier in concept than in execution, but that's how the SSP often feels. This could be really funny: A street thug gets called a "dotnose," then responds by calling the other guy ozay, gets shot, and winds up at Jay's police station.

The Sarah Silverman ProgramThursdays 10:30p/9:30c

Ozay on the Street

Black God
Alternative Comedy

Abortion Song
Stoner Humor


Then he seeks revenge by trying to kill Brian, only to be disarmed when lemon juice getting in his eye! Well, wait, that doesn't sound that hilarious. But it was enjoyable all the same, especially when the black street thug said "dotnose" was the "most offensive word" he's ever heard. "What's the most offensive word to, say, a you," Sarah responds. "I'm repeating it in my head like crazy!"
That made me laugh. So this episode? Not quite ozay.
Grade: C
Misc. etc

— That'll teach me to work ahead on these things. I wrote this last week and forgot to post it this morning. D'oh.
— You know who else is awesome? John Ennis, starring here as a stranger in a convenience store who unloads on Steve: "YOU. HAVE. A. DOT. ON. YOUR. NOSE. DICK!" The Mr. Show alumnus needs to be in more stuff, and his IMDB page shows he isn't being used enough. C'mon people! He's funny!
— Another invented word for Thursday's episode: kangamangus, when you shoot a hole in someone's head then hang him by that hole on the clothesline.
— Did we already know that Brian's last name is Spukowski? If so, I'd forgotten in, so I laughed like it was new when the Oxford dictionary guy came to Brian's door.
— Again, nice directing to Rob Schrab. That transition from the opening credits to the scene in the café was pretty sweet.

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